Any commercial jetliner flying into a column of volcanic ash is likely to encounter problems.
euronews aviation specialist Giovanni Magi explains why: “Flying in the volcanic ash cloud is dangerous for two reasons; firstly, because the rock and glass particles in the cloud shut down the engines.
“Secondly; because the ash grinds the cockpit windows and when the aircraft exits the cloud the pilots are not able to see outside.
“A typical case of that happened in June 1982 above the Indian Ocean when a British Airways Boeing 747 entered the ash column from Java’s volcano.
“One after the other, all four engines cut out.
“The aircraft descended like a glider for 7,000 metres before the pilots managed to restart three engines and land without any further mishap at Jakarta.”